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Forty-one children reported killed in Kemerovo shopping center blaze


Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited the scene of a fire in a shopping centre that killed at least 64 people, and hit out at "criminal negligence" which he said was to blame for the high death toll.

 

Forty-one children were killed in the blaze, APA reported citing Interfax.

 

Investigators looking into a fire, one of the deadliest in Russia since the break-up of the Soviet Union, said fire exits had been illegally blocked and the fire alarm system had not functioned properly.

 

The fire swept through the upper floors of the Winter Cherry shopping centre in the city of Kemerovo, where a cinema complex and children's play area were located, on Sunday afternoon.

 

Dozens of children were feared to be among the dead in the tragedy in Kemerovo, a coal-producing region about 3,600km east of Moscow.

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